Tell JCPenney to stop promoting sexist messaging to girls
  • Petitioned Mike Ulman III

This petition was delivered to:

Chairman & CEO, J. C. Penney
Mike Ulman III

Tell JCPenney to stop promoting sexist messaging to girls

    1. Lauren Todd
    2. Petition by

      Lauren Todd

      Brooklyn, NY

August 2011


JC Penney has issued a statement promising to stop the sales of the sexist t-shirt: 

We agree that the “Too pretty” t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale.  Our merchandise is intended to appeal to a broad customer base, not to offend them. We would like to apologize for any concern we may have caused and assure you that we are taking action to ensure that we continue to uphold the integrity of our merchandise that [our customers] have come to expect.

Thank you to all the signers who took quick action to speak out against sexist messaging to girls!


UPDATE: found another shirt that lists girls' best subjects as"Boys, Shopping, Music, & Dancing:" Keep signing if you want to see that one removed too!


Under the guise of being 'cute,' J. C. Penney is promoting merchandise that encourages girls to value looks over brains; to leave academics to the boys, and to aspire to nothing more than fawning after Justin Bieber.

A shirt for sale for girls ages 7-16 reads:

"I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me."

The caption next to it reads:

"Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Bieber album out? She'll love this tee that's just as cute and sassy as she is."

In a world where women are fighting for respect and equality, J.C. Penney is promoting a message in the vein of Matel's talking Barbie who bemoaned, "math is hard, let's go shopping."  Here, girls are being told that their brains are not valuable, only their looks, and that being smart is for boys only.  This disgusting message may have been common in the 1950s, but it is 2011, and times have changed for the better. Tell J.C. Penney "I won't shop here until you stop selling merchandise with sexist messaging."

Recent signatures


    1. response from J.C. Penney received

      Lauren Todd
      Petition Organizer

      "jcpenney is committed to being America?s destination for great style and
      great value for the whole family. We agree that the ?Too pretty?
      t-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately
      discontinued its sale."

    2. Victory! JC Penney to Stop Selling “Too Pretty to Do Homework” T-Shirt

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      Last night, member Lauren Todd saw a shirt on the JC Penney website and, she says, "I couldn't believe what I was seeing."
      The t-shirt, clearly labeled for girls seven to sixteen, said “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has...

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. J. C. Penney has been asked to issue a formal statement

      Lauren Todd
      Petition Organizer

      I just sent an email to Mr. Ullman to issue a statement about this shirt. I'll keep you all posted if he responds!

    5. Reached 1,000 signatures
    6. The Frisky on JC Penney Shirt: "Kill Me Now, Please"

      Shelby Knox
      Senior Campaigner

      The Frisky's Jessica Wakeman: "I wholeheartedly encourage Frisky readers to sign the petition against this demeaning T-shirt — and get your little daughters/sisters to sign it too."

    7. We just reached 500 signatures - let's keep going!

      Lauren Todd
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all again for taking a stand against this sexist messaging. I'm hoping we can keep going and get as many signatures as possible, and send a strong message to JCPenney about being more careful about the message they want to send to children.

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. We just passed 100 signatures!

      Lauren Todd
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your support - and for standing against sexist marketing to girls. Please, if you have a moment, post on Facebook, tweet it, help spread the word. We can send a message of our own to JCPenney - we're not buying this crap.

    10. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Stephane Guenette VICTORIA, CANADA
      • about 3 years ago

      I believe in giving children healthy messages.

    • K. M. Walton WEST CHESTER, PA
      • about 3 years ago

      Because the saying sickens me to my core.

    • Regina Allen AUSTIN, TX
      • about 3 years ago

      This is a disgusting message to send to our children

    • Kristin Cowles LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA
      • about 3 years ago

      This is pathetic. Encourage to greatness instead of settling for appearance based value.

    • Alice Teeple STATE COLLEGE, PA
      • about 3 years ago

      Come on guys, not only is this lame, but it's an ugly shirt...probably made by 11 year old little girls in Chinese sweatshops.


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